- Dickson Mounds, Lewistown
Lewistown, IL --The Illinois Valley Archaeological Society (IVAS) will meet Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at the Dickson Mounds Museum beginning at 7:00 p.m. Featured speaker will be Sharon Santure, retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois, will present a talk titled "Floodplain Restoration and Archaeology in the Lima Lake and Indian Graves Drainage Districts". This event is free and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be available following the presentation.
Before modern agriculture the broad Mississippian floodplain of Adams County was rich in aquatic resources, and attracted human settlement and extractive activities throughout history. Although appearing to be a homogeneous level floodplain today, walking across a floodplain landscape reveals the micro-elevations marking lake shores, natural levees and terrace edges. In 2009 the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service undertook restoration work in the Lima Lake and Indian Graves Drainage Districts after the disastrous flood of 2008. Archaeological surveys of the project area yielded 21 new sites, revealing how critical the micro-elevations were for human activity in the floodplain. Former NRCS archaeologist, Sharron Santure, reviews her survey results and explains NRCS floodplain restoration work.
Sharron worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois from 1995 to 2017. As the agency's first archaeologist, she developed a review process to recognize and protect archaeological sites in NRCS project areas, required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for federal agencies. Prior to her NRCS work, Sharron worked for 12 years for the Illinois State Museum as Acting Education Director at the main museum in Springfield, and as museum educator at the main museum and at Dickson Mounds Museum. As a contract archaeologist she excavated and wrote site reports for the Norris Farms Oneota cemetery, and the Orendorf sites, both major central Illinois projects. Her career of 45 years has included teaching students in archaeological field schools, directing the archaeological research lab at WIU, establishing the first Illinois Archaeology Awareness Week for the Illinois Archaeological Survey, and working on numerous small surveys and site excavations. In her retirement she is still involved with the IAAA as Permanent Fund treasurer.
The Illinois State Museum—Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. Tours and special programs are available for groups with reservations. For more information call 309.547.3721 or TTY 217.782.9175 or visit the museum's web site at http://www.illinoisstatemuseum.org/content/welcome-dickson-mounds. Also check out weekly updates on Facebook at "Illinois State Museum – Dickson Mounds".